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If you find yourself needing to keep items cool away from your main fridge, such as in another room or even away from home, a mini fridge can be a great solution. But which one should you choose? With the wide selection available it is a tough decision to make. Should you go out and buy any old thing? Should you go cheap and cheerful, or invest a little more? Which brand should you choose – Amana or Danby? Which one is the best one to get?
This is where we are here to help. The chart below and the reviews that follow will help you decide what the best mini fridge is for you. Make sure you don’t buy the wrong one.
Ultimate Mini Fridge Guide
Capacity [Cubic feet (Litres)]
|Danby DAR195BL All Refrigerator||$$||1.8 (51)||44||4.4|
|Midea Compact 1.7 Refrigerator||$||1.7 (48)||42||4.3|
|SPT 2.5 Compact Refrigerator||$$||2.5 (71)||47||4.6|
|Haier HCR17W 1.7 Fridge||$$||1.7 (48)||34||4.2|
|Danby DAR259BL All Refrigerator||$$||2.5 (71)||55||3.9|
To use our interactive, sort-able version of this chart and to see more fridges visit our full guide. If you are looking for something less expensive, order the table above by price or take a look at our cheap mini fridge category for reviews.
What is a Mini Fridge?
A mini fridge (or bar) is a smaller, less powerful version of their bigger siblings. They are useful for various reasons, such as only requiring to store a small number items or if you have a room with a small amount of space. They are usually cheaper to run than a full sized fridge. Historically, mini fridges were able to cool their contents using absorption technology. The first unit to use a compressor was created by an Italian company in 1982 for use in the NASA space shuttle. Compressors are much better at keeping items cool so you should consider this fact when looking at the options – do you want to simply keep beverages chilled or do you need real cooling power to protect perishable items?
How to find the best mini fridge to meet your needs
First you need to decide what factors or most important to you. Is price? Size? Capacity? Weight? User ratings? Once you have done this, you can use the table above to order the units by the attributes that matter most to you. You can compare attributes such as cost, capacity and weight and then decide which one is the best. For example, if you are a college student looking to find something to fit in a dorm room, it’s going to have to be small so that it fits under a desk or in the corner, and it’s going to have to be cheap (as we all know students do not have a lot of money). From here, you will then be able to read the reviews. When you have decided which one is best, you can follow the link to purchase it.
Review of our favorites
While most of the above fridges are excellent choices, below is a selection of reviews for the units we consider to be the amongst best of the lot. Just because it is not mentioned below does not mean that it is still not an excellent choice. Check out the other reviews using the menu to the right.
SPT 2.5 cu.ft Compact Review
The SPT Compact has one of the highest customer ratings on Amazon – it is considered to be one of the best and it is easy to see why. It packs a large 71 litre capacity which is in the middle of the range. In other words, it’s not too big to sacrifice its portability (it still fits nicely under a desk and is fairly light weight) but it is large enough to accommodate everything you need. You could use this both as a place to store your beer in your man cave or as a smaller alternative to a fridge. It’s sturdy and with its compressor is powerful enough to be a great all-rounder. It has an estimated running cost of only $28 per year.
As well as sleek attractive looks and stainless steel door, the SPT Compact boasts an impressive range of features, including an adjustable thermostat, reversible door and slide out shelf.
The only down side to this unit is the fact that it is not the quietest available – but it’s not so loud that it should put you off buying. With a price tag of around the $160 mark this fridge is definitely not one of the cheapest, but it is far from the most expensive. Considering its size, it gives you excellent bang per buck.
Danby DAR195BL 1.8 cu.ft. All Refrigerator Review
The Danby DAR195BL has to be a strong contender in anybody’s fridge selection. This is an excellent unit, certainly one of the best. At 51 litres, this unit comprises of a fairly decent amount of storage capacity but is small enough to fit where ever it is required. It is also fairly light weight and comes with a modest price tag of around $120. For that, it delivers fantastic value for money. With one of the highest user ratings on Amazon you can rest assured this fridge will do the job. Features include a reversible door, cycle defrost and 5 can beverage dispenser. Great for storing cans/beer or great as an alternative to a bigger model. It is another great all-rounder.
Why is it one of the best? This unit is reliable, good looking and has a powerful but energy efficient compressor. The only disadvantage, as with any unit in this price band, is that there are quieter ones available (however the noise is not so intrusive to put me off recommending it).
Wagan 2577 Personal Fridge/Warmer – 7L Capacity Review
This unit is designed to be a real portable fridge. Take it with you on a long car journey keeping it powered via the adapters provided or carry it around using the shoulder strap. It even has an on-board battery to keep the cooling going – perfect for when you are on the move! Although do remember to plug it back in at night as the battery will only last up to 6 hours. Calling this the best for real portability would not be a far cry from the truth.
Unlike other units in this price range, the Wagan 2577 Personal has a 7 liter capacity as appose to the standard 3 liter. This means you are able to fit in a lot more than a couple of cans – ideal for carrying a full picnic.
Other features include the ability to keep drinks warm and inbuilt cup holders. For its low price tag you get a whole lot of versatility and portability.
Midea Compact Refrigerator Review
This unit from Midea can certainly claim to be one of the best and is a steal at under 70 dollars. This energy saving, low noise unit (in fact this unit is exceptionally quiet) comes with an abundance of features including an adjustable thermostat, separate chiller freezer compartment and a reversible door. With its 1.7 cubic feet capacity it is the ideal place to store beer bottles, soft drinks or tomorrow’s lunch. If you are looking for some extra storage space this model also comes in several larger sizes.
With its small size and light weight this unit is ideal to fit in the bedroom or in the office. Designed and created by a company that specializes in air conditioning you can be confident that the products that rare kept inside will remain cool.This is backed up by consistently high consumer reviews.
Overall this unit offers high quality for a very low price tag, and for that reason it is one of the best and one of our personal favorites.
Haier HCR17W 1.7 Review
Why is this one of the best? The Haier HCR17W is another great value light weight unit with great reviews and a sizable 48 litre capacity – all for around $110! Its clever design will accommodate large soda bottles with plenty of room to spare for your jars, sauces and fruit (well, if you’re like me, maybe not fruit..). Features include a freezer compartment complete with ice cube try and recessed door handles. It is also an Energy Star so you know it won’t break the bank to run it all year round.
In terms of appearance – this unit has a typical “white goods” plastic feel, so it is not as sleek as some of the other stainless steel models. It’s great in dorm rooms, in the office or as an addition to an existing kitchen. Internally, it aims to mimic its larger siblings with ample storage options. This unit is great quality, reliable and pleasantly quiet.
Now that you have all the information you need, you should be able to make an informed decision and find the best mini fridge for you.
Over to you.